Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Helen Palmer

Teacher of Psychology and Intuition, Co-founder of the Trifold School of Enneagram Studies with David Daniels, M.D. Best-selling author of The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and Others in Your Life

"It is erroneously believed that attention is attracted out of interest; actually our interests are more often determined by our own inner state, and we stay interested because we have learned to place our attention."

"The modern era, dedicated to repeatable experimental data, buried something valuable that cannot be resurrected by scientific language: namely, the qualities of knowing that rely on unification between an observer and the object observed."

"Throughout history, individuals have solved apparently impossible problems during moments of intense inner clarity. Variously called inspiration, peak performance, creative insight, and higher creativity, such moments produce illuminated understanding, which can then be shaped, revised, and carried forward by skill alone."

"I think [the Enneagram] is here because we need it, on a global basis, to take more responsibility for our thoughts and emotions and to consider, deeply, how to stand in someone else's shoes, and see the decision or the event from very different sets of eyes and see the validity of it."

"The Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual system with roots in ancient traditions. Traces of it can be found in Sufism, Judaism, and specifically, in the seven capital tendencies of early Christianity. These seven capital tendencies, anger, pride, envy, avarice, gluttony, lust, and sloth, along with two general traits everyone shares, deceit and fear, make up the nine personality types of the Enneagram. Each personality type on the nine-pointed star of the Enneagram can be seen as a pointer to a constellation of tendencies, perspectives, and habitual perceptions characteristic to each type. In Enneagram study, these constellations of motivation are called passions, and each one colors how we experience ourselves, our relationships and the world around us. The purpose of Enneagram studies is gain insight into how these passions and compulsions operate in ourselves and others, thereby fostering self-understanding and empathy, giving rise to improved relationships."